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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Revalidation for Psychiatrists



Revalidation requires doctors to demonstrate their on-going fitness to practise.

Revalidation aims to give extra assurance to patients and the public, as well as other healthcare professionals, that doctors registered with a licence are regularly checked by their employers and the General Medical Council.  

All licensed doctors will need to revalidate on a regular basis (usually every five years) by having a local evaluation of their performance through an appraisal process based on the GMC core guidance Good Medical Practice. The GMC website has more information on revalidation for doctors, employers and the public and the license to practise. 

The role of the College is to provide support and guidance to Members and Fellows in relation to revalidation - the easiest way to access this support is via the resources on this webpage or through the revalidation helpdesk.


Shaping the future of medical revalidation

The GMC, via an independent group of academics, is currently running a major research study to assess and evaluate the impact of revalidation. All College Members and Fellows have previously been invited to take part in an online questionnaire; the interim report from based on the survey is expected to be published in the first half of 2016. More information about the research can be found on the UMbRELLA website.


Revalidation guidance for psychiatrists

In 2014 the College updated its guidance for psychiatrists on supporting information for appraisal and revalidation. The new guidance, which replaces College Report 172, can be found here: Supporting Information for Appraisal and Revalidation: Guidance for Psychiatrists (CR194). The College also provides a guide to appraisal, Good Practice Guidelines for Appraisal.


Revalidation portfolio

With revalidation now part of all doctors' working lives the College, in partnership with several other medical royal colleges, provides an online revalidation portfolio to help members prepare for their annual appraisal and revalidation.

The revalidation portfolio is a free, secure and easy to use online tool for compiling, storing and managing the supporting information required for revalidation. The portfolio allows access to a doctor's supporting information by a nominated appraiser and responsible officer. It is especially useful to doctors who work in organisations that do not provide electronic appraisal or revalidation systems, and doctors in private and independent practice.

To start using the revalidation portfolio there is a two-stage process for College members, requiring an initial expression of interest (via the College website) and then registering to use the portfolio on the externally hosted site. To start this process please click on the link below: 


Designated bodies for revalidation

Establishing a prescribed connection with a designated body is still an issue for a number of psychiatrists. The most comprehensive source of advice on this issue is the GMC website, which includes an algorithm to help doctors find their designated bodies. Other external bodies which may be able to help include the Independent Doctors Federation, who can provide appraisal and revalidation services to doctors.

Within the College, the Private and Independent Practice Special Interest Group (PIPSIG) has previously organised a series of workshops looking at the issues affecting independent doctors' revalidation, and further details on the workshops can be found on the PIPSIG pages of the college website. PIPSIG also host a forum to help, for example, doctors find a PDP peer group. The forum can be accessed from the PIPSIG webpage.


New consultants (StartΨell)

StartΨell is a consultant-led initiative for psychiatrists who are in their first five years as a consultant or locum consultant. StartΨell focusses on six elements to support psychiatrists in their first consultant role with the intention to establish good habits for their careers. More information can be found in the StartΨell pages.


Continuing Professional Development

An important element of the supporting information required for revalidation is CPD, a process of self assessment, self-directed, lifelong learning that complements formal undergraduate and postgraduate education and training. There are various ways to structure and record your CPD for revalidation purposes. The easiest way for most psychiatrists is to use the College CPD scheme, based on membership of an effective, functioning peer group. Further details are available on the College CPD webpages.


Feedback from patients and colleagues

One of the key requirements of revalidation is for doctors to gather feedback from patients and from colleagues at least once in every five year revalidation cycle. There are various tools and systems to support doctors to gather this feedback. The College recommends ACP 360 Multi-Source Assessment for psychiatrists, an appraisal process designed specifically for psychiatrists and fully compliant with GMC requirements. ACP 360 also provides benchmarked feedback for psychiatrists.

The GMC have published guidance and case studies on getting feedback from patients, aimed particularly at doctors who find gathering feedback from patients a challenge; also provided are sample feedback questionnaires and leaflets for patients on giving feedback.


Revalidation forms and resources

The following forms, based on the appendices of Supporting Information for Appraisal and Revalidation: Guidance for Psychiatrists (CR194), may be of use in collecting the information required for revalidation. They are available in MS Word or PDF format.

  • Case-based discussion: PDF | Word
  • Audit pro forma: PDF | Word
  • Multisource feedback (colleague and patient / carer): PDF | Word
  • Significant event audit: PDF | Word
  • Complaint report: PDF | Word


Revalidation information from other organisations


Contact and helpdesk

If you have any questions or comments about revalidation, please email the RCPsych revalidation helpdesk:


Dr Ellen Wilkinson

Associate Registrar for Revalidation



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